From hot dogs to merguez, nearly every culture in the world has its own spin on sausages. Here in Kansas City, we have a plethora of meat markets and restaurants — old-school and new — that are hand-cranking them out, link by link (or patty by patty).
On this week's show, our Food Critics Mary Bloch, Charles Ferruzza and Duane Daugherty weigh in on the best sausages — and sausage dishes — in Kansas City.
Mary Bloch, Around the Block:
- Local Pig and Local Pig Brasserie has great sausages, including vegetarian ones.
- Char Bar serves hand-cranked sausage in the duck gumbo.
- Broadway Butcher Shop — For those who don't love fennel, chef Stuart Aldridge's homemade Italian sausage has a light hand with the fennel. It’s available hot or mild.
- One of my favorite pastas at Jasper’s and Lidia’s is the one with broccoli rabe, garlic and Italian sausage.
- Q39 has a homemade chipotle sausage on its platters; you can get a burnt end sausage as well.
- Il Lazzarone makes its own sausage; Pizzabella’s sausage pizza is another winner.
- Mexican restaurants have great breakfasts using chorizo, like Poco’s on Linwood.
- 715 makes its own sausage; it's served on sausage plates and on top of pizzas.
- You can get merguez at The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange. It's made with lamb and harissa.
Charles Ferruzza, The Pitch:
- Grünauer — All of the sausages here are superb, but I'm particularly partial to the currywurst and the Tommyknocker bratwurst, which is made with Tommyknocker Pale Ale. I don't drink anymore, so it's nice to get a non-alcoholic, but distinctly beery flavor to the bratwurst.
- Werner's Fine Sausages — When the weather is balmy, there's nowhere quite as nice as the outdoor sausage stand in front of Werner's. You can seat outside (or better yet, stroll) while eating an outstanding bratwurst sandwich or, better yet, a cheddar bier brat.
- Jasper's Marco Polo — Italian sausage grilled with peppers and onions is nirvana.
- Arris’ Pizza makes its own Greek sausage. Very mild and tasty.
- Affäre – The house-made sausages are about the best in the city; they’re so delicious.
- Limestone Pizza in Lawrence makes its own braunschweiger (sausage made of liver, but almost like a pate. Very soft and liver-y). It’s delicious, especially on Limestone's breads.
- Heirloom Bakery serves a "pig in a blanket" — sausage wrapped in flaky pastry that's served with mustard. I thought it was delicious.
Duane Daugherty, Mr. Doggity's BBQ Catering:
- Browne's Irish Marketplace — The bangers (like a bratwurst), black and white pudding (the black pudding has hog’s blood added to it) and Irish sausage rolls are amazing.
- I'd say that I like "unusual" sausages, which means Broadway Butcher and Local Pig.
- For a great Italian fennel sausage, hard to beat the ones that Shorty serves up on the grill out front of Jasper's. A little grilled onion and pepper, and I'm good to go.
- I love the options at Werner's, and as one who makes his own sausage, I like that I can buy casings, seasonings and other supplies there, too.
- Krizman’s Sausage — Specialties include Polish sausages and Eastern European sausages.
- Howard Hanna makes a beautiful braunschweiger at The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange. I had some with pickled vegetables and stone-ground mustard – just wonderful.
- RJ’s Bob-Be-Que has good biscuits and gravy.
- Scimeca's Famous Sausage Company makes the best Italian sausage in Kansas City by far. No one else comes close.
- Peter May's House of Kielbasa! Iconic, affordable and so good.
- Krizman’s Sausage — Generations of my family have gotten our polish sausage there!
- I love The Store! They always have the best product. I get my fresh turkey from them for T-day, too. Not many meat markets left.
- The Sundry! Their biscuits and sausage gravy is so good!
- Koehn Bakery in Butler, Missouri, has fantastic sausage rolls for breakfast.Don't expect them in the late morning; they always sell out.
- McBee’s General Store in Amsterdam, Missouri, has two freezer cases filled with homemade brats and sausages (which come in flavors like jalapeno pineapple, maple breakfast sausage and more). The store also sells sausages fresh in the case. They're fantastic — worth the drive. McBee's will be opening a store just outside Butler on I-49.
- Werner’s has linguiça, a Portuguese sausage. Whatever I buy, the casings last; they don’t fall apart.
- Fritz’s Meats & Superior Sausage
- Bison brats from KC Buffalo in Belton. Available at the City Market on weekends. Lean and meaty.
- The Local Pig makes its own braunschweiger.
- At Pigwich (which is attached to Local Pig), my favorite breakfast is the pot pie; it incorporates sausage, egg and a little gravy. You can hold it in the palm of your hand.
- McGonigle’s Market sells sausages that are ready-to-eat. You can also take some home to cook yourself. They're locally-made, high-quality sausage.
- Bichelmeyer’s Meats
- Hank Charcuterie in Lawrence
- Vocci Italian Foods in Columbus Park (559 Campbell) has been making sausages for 40 years; they're sold to restaurants around town. Governor Stumpy’s carries it: An Italian sausage stuffed with Romano. It's really incredible sausage — no preservatives, hand-stuffed, really old-school sausage. You can also walk in and buy sausages.
- The Bean Counter Café near Lake Lotawana has great biscuits and gravy. It's like what your grandma would make.